Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007



A review of Brad Burke, Does God Still Do Miracles, ( Colorado Springs : Victor, 2006)
ISBN: 13-978-0-7814-4282-4 160 pp

By Forrest Wayne Schultz

January 4, 2007

The erroneous theological notions of modern “faith healers”, such as Benny Hinn, have been discussed by the researchers in the Spiritual Counterfeits Project and similar ministries. The main emphasis of the book under review here is upon studying the actual results Hinn achieves and how the methodology he employs accounts for those results. The gist of the matter is that the kind of psychological atmosphere generated by Hinn’s mass meetings can produce an emotional “high” which can temporarily alleviate some of the symptoms of sick people, but that no actual cures are produced, contra Hinn’s claims. The author, Brad Burke, is a medical doctor who provides in his book a great deal of helpful medical information which is germane to the subject of medical miracles, and his study has been endorsed by other physicians, such as the late Dr. Paul Brand, who has done a considerable amount of thinking in regard to the medical and theological factors involved in pain and illness.

Burke’s book also contains some helpful discussion of various Scriptures pertaining to miracles and arrives at what could be called a moderate cessationist position, i.e. it does not say that all miracles have ceased but that they have become rare. I believe that Burke is correct with respect to public (or publicized) miracles but that he not correct in regard to private, unpublicized miracles, which I believe are much more common than supposed but are not made widely known because the person involved wants to be left alone and not regarded as some kind of weirdo.

The book is to be commended for recommending, and serving as an example of, careful thinking about this and other matters. One thing he notes, which needs a lot more discussion, is that as scientific knowledge advances, there are some occurrences which were once thought to be miraculous because the underlying complex mechanism was not known or understood. One thing that is clear, as Burke emphasizes, is that God does all healing, not just miraculous healing and that God cares about people. Burke has a concern not only for careful thought but for helping Christians who yearn for a more intimate fellowship with God. What he has written is intended to provide that help as well as to clarify matters concerning miraculous healing. I recommend it for the fine job it does of both.